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Rumor: Sal Zizzo in, Ryan Meara out (on loan)?

Is this our first bona fide off-season rumor that doesn't involve a want-away DP?

Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports

After a slow start (nothing in the Dispersal Draft; no action in the trade window of December 8, passed over by both expansion teams in the Expansion Draft, and a pass in the Waiver Draft), the New York Red Bulls seem to be easing into the off-season.

In his round-up of the day's Expansion Draft activity, Jason Saghini - who works for MLS and probably has a few more unannounced details of the wheeling and dealing around the league in his head than most - dropped a RBNY bombshell: "Sal Zizzo...was sent to the Red Bulls for consideration of a loan of Ryan Meara." Check around the 0.57 mark in the video below.

Huh? Say that again.

Saghini, sadly, did not repeat the claim. Nor was it a claim: it was a statement. No great hullabaloo, no hint of speculation; Saghini's tone in the video is that of someone simply diligently reporting all the facts one would expect in a summary of the day's trades.

As he suggested himself on Twitter, not everything he knew when he shot the video was announced before it was published.

And the Meara trade still hasn't been announced by either club at around 9:00 pm (Eastern) on Wednesday, December 10.

Doesn't mean the deal isn't done. Nor, of course, does the fact Saghini knew something to be true at some point earlier in the day mean either NYCFC or RBNY cannot change their minds later on.

Sending a player to another for "consideration" of a loan seems like an extraordinarily high price to pay.

Zizzo is a well-regarded attacking wide-man with a USMNT cap to his name, but he's never really been a regular starter for any team he's played for in MLS, since joining the league after a stint in Germany. He will be 28 in April of next year.

While he's never been a consistently exceptional player, it seems curious that NYCFC would hand him over to RBNY for nothing more than "consideration" of Ryan Meara's services. Even trading Zizzo for nothing more than a loan in return seems like overpaying.

There is some missing detail - including the confirmation of the deal from one or both clubs - which it would be prudent to wait for before getting carried away with any attempt to figure out who did best out of the trade. If indeed there is a trade at all.

Until something is confirmed, take this rumor, add it to the news of Jamison Olave's departure from RBNY, and settle in for the off-season. The phony war is over. RBNY has joined the fray.

Edit: Seems MLS has, rather unsportingly, pulled the video in question with Mr. Saghini's mention of the trade. Or "trade". Maybe it will come back, maybe it won't. The rumor, in the meantime, rolls on.